Jesus would have shunned West's 'bullying' leaders and their policies: Ahmadinejad

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London, Dec 25 (ANI): Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a Christmas message to be aired on Britain's Channel 4 has said that the West's 'bullying' leaders and their policies would be shunned by Jesus.

Taking a dig at the West in the Christmas message, the Iranian President offered warm greetings to all.

Ahmadinejad wished the world a merry Christmas, even though he thinks much of it is in crisis because of the West's "bullying, ill-tempered and expansionist" leaders have strayed far from Jesus' path.

In a recorded message to air Christmas Day, Ahmadinejad praised Christianity but goes on to say that if Jesus returned to Earth, "he would fight against the tyrannical policies of prevailing global economic and political systems," the Los Angeles Times reported.

Ahmadinejad didn't say specifically what he meant, but presumably he was referring to the policies of the United States and West European countries, which have imposed economic sanctions on Iran to try to force it to shut down its nuclear enrichment program.

The Iranian president was invited to speak to the British public as part of the channel's annual "Alternative Christmas Message," following an address to the nation by Queen Elizabeth II.

Previous alternative Christmas guests have included the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the cast of the animated series "The Simpsons." Ahmadinejad recorded the six-minute greeting Tuesday in Tehran.

Ahmadinejad's message, in Persian with English subtitles, includes warm yuletide greetings and wishes of "happiness, prosperity peace and brotherhood for humanity" on the occasion of Jesus' birth.

President Ahmadinejad has previously called for Israel to be wiped off the map and described the Holocaust a "myth". He was at the centre of a diplomatic stand-off with Britain last year, when Iran held 15 sailors and Royal Marines captured in the Persian Gulf.

Human rights groups, MPs and Holocaust memorial charities have condemned channel 4's decision.

Stephen Smith, director of the Holocaust Centre, said the Iranian President's message of peace was "deceptive", describing him as a "wolf in sheep's clothing."

The Israeli Embassy has branded President Ahmadinejad's Christmas message a "sick and twisted irony."(ANI)

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